KCMA Lab Operator’s Meeting

As part of our standardized testing services, VGO performs kitchen cabinet testing for the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer’s Association (KCMA). KCMA recently hosted a lab operator’s meeting, where representatives of the three test labs that perform KCMA testing met to discuss the test standard, each lab’s testing procedures, and trends in the industry.

The meeting was held at the Home Innovation Research Lab (HIRL) in Upper Marlboro, MD. After our meeting, we got a tour of HIRL. They offer product testing, marketing research, building science technology assessments, and energy efficiency studies, among other services.


A full mock-up of a house inside the lab.



Here you can see a plywood roof section assembly in a large cold chamber. Different materials for use under roofing tiles are shown on the roof section.


hot box

This photo shows the diagram on the door of a calibrated hot box – a chamber in which a wall assembly (including insulation, framing, strand board, and sometimes drywall) is placed between a cold side and a hot side. This chamber is used to determine the R-value of the completed assembly.


bend test
This is a bend testing fixture, used to determine the bending strength of oriented strand board (OSB).


enviro chamber
HIRL owns several environmental chambers, used for accelerated aging tests on various materials.


This is a test fixture used to apply force on a wall assembly, from the side. The force is applied through the indenter indicated by the arrow.


lab operators
Here’s a photo of the lab operators who perform KCMA testing: from left, Chuck Arnold from HIRL (MD), Mattea Brown from VGO (OR), Kyeata Johnson from HIRL, and Frank Upchurch from TTL (AL).


Frank Upchurch receiving a plaque in recognition of 30+ years of KCMA testing. Frank has contributed to revision of the test standard several times, as well as being a resource for the rest of the lab operators.